Social Media After Death: How to Close a Google Account

Checklists and Guides

Posted on June 09, 2015 by Cindy Phan

As our portfolio of digital assets grows, many social media websites have created policies on how to close an account of the deceased. Below you will find Google's policy on how to close a Google account of a deceased loved one:

Users have a strong and reasonable expectation of privacy and security when using Google’s products. Google believes that the trust placed in them by users requires they keep their information safe, even in the event of their death.

Google's Inactive Account Manager

Inactive Account Manager is the best way for you to let Google know who should have access to your information, and whether you want your account to be deleted.

Click here to set up Google's Inactive Account Manager to indicate who can control your various Google accounts when your account is left inactive for a set period of time.

Make a Request for a Deceased Person's Google Account

Google recognizes, however, that many people pass away without leaving clear instructions about how to manage their online accounts. Google works with immediate family members and representatives to close online accounts, in some cases, once a user is known to be deceased and, in certain circumstances, they may provide content from a deceased user’s account. In all of these cases, their primary responsibility is to keep users’ information secure, safe, and private. Before you begin, please understand that sending a request or filing the required documentation does not guarantee that Google will be able to assist you. Any decision to satisfy a request about a deceased user will be made only after a careful review.

Note that Google is not able to provide passwords or other mechanisms that would enable anyone to log in to a user’s account.

View Google - Closing Account of the Deceased